This plane travelled faster than a rifle bullet, 1.7 kilometres every second, and flew so high you could see the curvature of the earth. It could get you from London to New York over an hour before you left.
Concorde was a miracle of avionic engineering, spawned in the UK and France. From the sun-chasing champagne glory days of hosting A-listers and royalty, to the tragic Air France crash of 2000 and the subsequent plot to keep her wings clipped, this is the story of the lost dream of Concorde…
On July 25, 2000, Air France flight 4590 took off from Charles de Gaulle Airport. On board, 100 German passengers, set for the trip of a life-time – a chartered supersonic jaunt to New York, there to meet the cruise ship Deutschland for a 16-day cruise to South America. Within 90 seconds they and the nine-man crew were dead.
As the plane sped down the runway, the wheels hit an errant metal strip, just 43 centimetres long and one millimetre thick. A tyre was shattered, sending a 4.5kg chunk of rubber into the fuel-filled wing. The resulting shockwave ruptured a tank sending gallons of fuel spewing from the aircraft.
The liquid caught a spark, sending thick flames bellowing from the aircraft and causing two engines to fail. The plane stalled and capsized, flattening an airport hotel, killing four more people on the ground. It was the beginning of the slow, strange death of the Concorde.
Concorde is the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century bar none,” according to Ricky Bastin, Concorde fleet senior engineer. In this issue of Australian T3 we pay homage to the greatest commercial aeroplane to ever fly. Writer Chris Smith uncovers the development of supersonic commercial flight, the aftermath of the Concord crash and whether we will ever reach the lofty heights of the Concord again.
Also in Australian T3 this month; 50 of the most gorgeous gadgets in the world today. If your gadget collection is all about style then you can’t miss this issues. From the BeoSound 8 to the Porsche mobile phone and the Longines Heritage watch range, if it’s super sexy, it’s inside. We also investigate the technology behind Australia’s coffee culture and give you the tips you need to create the perfect home brew.
Finally, there’s the usual 90+ pages of consumer technology to keep you going for the month, including a full review of the Nintendo 3DS.
Australian T3 April issue 122 is out now in all good newsagents, Coles, Woolworths and 7-Eleven.